Dec 9, 2018

Blue Cheese and Asparagus Tart

This recipe is adapted from another blog LiveLoveLaughFood. The original recipe calls for Gorgonzola, but I use Bavarian blue, another type of blue cheese instead. Also there are some variations on the amount of ingredients applied. But mostly, I've taken on the method used to make the cheese cream for the savory tart, the end result was better than expected, very addicting so to speak.

Blue cheese and asparagus tart -



Ingredients (makes about 6 pieces)?

  • Some frozen puff pastry (enough to cover the area of a baking sheet)
  • 4 ounces or 114 grams Bavarian blue cheese
  • 114 grams or about 2 dozen asparagus (medium thickness)
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 egg
  • Some aged Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Some olive oil
  • Some salt
  • Some black pepper


How?

Melt the cheese ahead of time since it needs to cool down again in the fridge for about an hour. Fill a pot with heavy whipping cream and bring to a simmer. Break the cheese into the pot and turn to medium low heat. Keep whisking and wait till the cheese has been nearly melted and incorporate with the cream.


Cover with foil and transfer the whole thing into the fridge. Wait till the cheese and cream mixture firms up a little, with texture similar to a very thick paste, about one hour.


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 204 degrees Celsius. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Thaw the frozen puff pastry according to package instruction. Beat one egg as egg wash and set aside for later use. Trim the asparagus if needed, also trim off the very end that might be too tough to chew on. 

Transfer the puff pastry to the baking sheet, shape into one single rectangular layer. The pastry size might not be the same as baking sheet, so some trimming or sealing work are required. Score about one-inch border around the pastry with the back of the knife, be careful not to cut all the way down. 

Cut the asparagus into suitable length, which should fit within our pastry border just created.

Spread the cheese and cream mixture within the pastry border.


Place asparagus on top. Drizzle some olive oil over the asparagus and sprinkle with some salt and black pepper. Depending on the cheese used, some can be quite salty so not to over-salt the tart. Taste and adjust.


Brush the edge of the tart with egg wash. 

Into the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or till the edge turned golden browned. 

Remove from heat and let cool. Cut into smaller pieces.


Grate some aged Parmigiano Reggiano right before serving.


The blue cheese used can be salty already, then we finished off the tart with even more grated Parmigiano Reggiano. So really need to watch out on the salt used when sprinkle over the asparagus. Better safe than sorry. If the tart ended up not salty enough, it's always a great excuse to grate even more Parmigiano Reggiano all over.

Dec 2, 2018

Pork and Chinese Chive Rolls 韭菜豬肉捲

If there's any leftover Chinese chives after making this recipe, just turn it into one other side dish. Perhaps add a few more ingredients such as bean curd strips or bean sprouts. Nothing goes to waste. 

Pork and Chinese Chive Rolls 韭菜豬肉捲 -




Ingredients?


  • 1 bundle of Chinese chives
  • 12 to 14 pork slices
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Small pinch salt
  • Small pinch black pepper
  • Some flour
  • Some toasted white sesame seeds


Sauce -


  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger


How?

Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves. Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and make sure the sugar is fully dissolved. 


Trim off the very end of Chinese chives and cut in half if needed, as long as the whole chives can fit in the stir-fry pan or a wok.


Drizzle enough olive oil to evenly coat the bottom of the pan and turn to high heat. Add in garlic, salt, and black pepper. Give it a quick stir then transfer Chinese chives over. Cook for about 2 minutes the most, scoop out and set aside.




Once the Chinese chives are cool enough to handle by hand, cut into shorter sections, about 2 inches or slightly shorter, so the sections can fit within the width of pork slices. 


Wrap the Chinese chives with pork slices and seal the end with some flour. Also coat or dust the whole pork roll with some flour too.




No need to add more oil, simply transfer pork rolls over to the same pan and use medium heat this time. Sear till slightly browned on all sides. 


Pour in prepared sauce and bring to a boil. Lower the heat just a little and continue to reduce the sauce. Move the pork rolls around to get even color on all sides.




Once nearly dried up, transfer to serving plate and sprinkle with toasted white sesame seeds.




It's not absolutely necessary to cook the Chinese chives first, but it does yield a tenderer bite and easier to eat. On top of that, perhaps give the chives one more chop, break them into two shorter sections then wrap with pork slices. That way the Chinese chives can easily pull apart when biting the pork rolls in half. 


As for me, I just eat the whole roll in one bite, like a beast.



Other recipes using Chinese chives: